A near $600,000 difference between Atlanta and Wilkinson County appraisals leaves everyone in a waiting phase.
“This is property that we need. It’s rough property that needs a lot of work,” Jones said. “They won’t budge or take what I would deem a reasonable offer. Until they are flexible with us, we are in a holding pattern.”
Sheriff Bill Massee spoke up about the mentality of the SPC. The sheriff dealt with the commission when the county wanted land between the Bill Ireland Youth Development Campus and the West End Projects.
Massee said the sate wanted $45,000 per acre for the 20- to 30-acre area.
“Our representatives and senators are facing what I call the Atlanta mentality. Nobody would spend that money for property like that. They are unreasonable and that’s the war they are fighting,” the sheriff said.
Jones hasn’t given up on SPC negotiations.
“We have to push them. It’s a tough bunch to try and get a commitment out of,” Jones said.
• Mental Health
Similar to the state property issues, Kidd said once a bureaucrat has set his or her mind to something it’s hard to change. The nearly complete shuttering of Central State leaves room for concern.
Kidd isn’t on board with the DBHDD notion every client is better served outside an institution.
“These snot nosed kids in Washington, D.C. that have never seen a mental health or developmentally disabled patient are writing rules and regulations on how they should be treated,” the state representative said.
“That’s a mindset that’s going to cost the state more money than if they kept Central State or places like it open for treatment.”
Every mental health or developmentally disabled consumer now treated in the community is costing the state between $60,000 and $70,000 yearly. Considering that total client number above 9,000, long-term savings versus the old hospital aren’t as bright, according to Kidd.